Fresh out of the retail box and into our hands. This is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, people. The phone hits Verizon's store shelves today. We know a lot of you guys and gals are super excited for this gaming device and we can't wait to hear what you have to say about the long awaited "PlayStation Phone."
The phone comes shipped with a pure Gingerbread experience -- no crazy skins. Inside the device is a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and Adreno 205 GPU. As for the display, the Xperia Play rocks a 4-inch, 854 x 480 FWVGA screen. And the most notable addition, of course: the slide out control pad.
Watch the video above to see what the Play is all about and be sure to check back in the next few days as we will have our full review. But for now, be sure to head into the Android Central Forums to see what other Android gamers are saying.
We spend a lot of time here on Android Central obsessing over the latest high-end, high-spec, high-price handsets -- devices aimed at nerds like us who crave shiny new toys every few months. But in the real world, not everyone likes to blow hundreds of their local currency on a cell phone, even if they’re looking to dip their toe into the enticing world of smartphones. This means that competition among budget devices can be just as fierce as it is between the latest dual-core superphones.
The Galaxy Mini is Samsung’s contender in the budget arena -- it’s a low-cost device for folks making the switch from a feature phone, and as such, you can pick one up without breaking the bank. We tested the Three UK-branded version of the Galaxy Mini, which is available for £99 on Three’s Pay As You Go service with “all you can eat” data, or for free on-contract.
Join us after the jump to find out how the phone measures up.
Behold, the new Motorola Droid X2, nearly the same as the original Motorola Droid X. Really. OK, mostly. Quite a bit, actually. That's not to say it's not better, because it most definitely is. And that's not to say it's boring, because it most definitely is not.
The original Droid X (read our full review) is still one of our favorites of the past year. And Verizon has shown a penchant for not wanting to upset the apple cart by radically changing a successful phone -- see the Droid 2 and Incredible 2 as previous examples of that strategy. Will that be enough for you to pull the trigger on a new DX2? Let's discuss our initial thoughts after the break.
The Nexus S 4G is like the younger, faster brother of T-Mobile's Nexus S. It can do just about all of the same things, but is better at wind sprints, so it made the varsity team first. Otherwise, we're looking at the same beast on a different carrier.
How does that stack up for Sprint users, though? Is the Wimax-infused phone of yesteryear worth picking up? Or is it worth holding out for the newest phones on the horizon? (I'm looking at you, HTC EVO 3D.)
Buckle up, keep your hands, feet, and other objects inside the ride at all times, and join me after the break to find out.
A vanilla UI and dual-core power combined with open hardware make the G2X one of the best Android phones to date
The LG T-Mobile G2X and its cousin from across the pond the Optimus 2X show us LG is serious about getting into the high-end Android market in the United States. LG has always been a major player in the mobile space, but up until now its U.S. Android offerings have leaned towards the mid-range of the market at best. When the LG Star prototype first showed up last November, the Android world (at least the part on the Internet) was all a-buzz with excitement. It's 4-inch display, dual-core Tegra 2 CPU and front facing camera were all still relatively new ideas then, and we ate it up.
But today, those kinds of specifications are a given. Maybe we're jaded, but as a whole the Android community scoffs at phones that aren't dual-core hot rods with big glass and don't have two cameras. So how does the G2X measure up with our current expectations of what makes a high-end Android smartphone? Hit the break and have a look.
It's big, it's bold, it's thin, it's fast and has one hell of a camera -- and it's caught in the middle of AT&T's '4G' propaganda
From the outset, the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T just sounded too big. Ridiculously big. Some 4.5 inches big. If you don't count the Dell Streak as a smartphone (and we don't, really), it's the biggest damn Android device that's intended to be occasionally used upside your head to make phone calls.
But we'll clue you in on a little secret: It's not too big. No, really. We've spent the last week or so with the Infuse and have found ourselves thoroughly surprised by just how usable a 4-and-a-half-inch phone can be.
That's not to say the Infuse is without its quirks. But we put it through its paces the best way we know how -- in the field, on the road, and in our hands at the Google IO developer conference.
So how'd it hold up? Read on for our complete review.
We got our hands on an evaluation unit at Google IO, and things are pretty much right where we left off. It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a TI OMAP dual-core processor, with dual-channel memory. LG trumpets it as the most powerful phone around -- more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy S II, they say. Navigating around LG's custom user interface, it feels snappy enough, even for an unfinished device. We're not worried about lag in the least. But it's 3D where this puppy really starts to shine.
So, about that 3D thing. The Optimus 3D has a pair of 5MP stereoscopic cameras on the back (with a flash, too). They work in tandem to record 3D video and take 3D pictures. And of course you need a screen to actually show them, and the Optimus 3D delivers.
It's kind of tough to really demonstrate the 3D effects without actually seeing them. Don't think of it as a holographic experience, where images leap off the screen. Rather, the screen is the focal point, and you get a neat sense of depth within the images. Gimmicky? Maybe a little. Or more than a little. But someone had to be first. And LG has done the right thing by not just giving you a screen on which to watch 3D content, but the means to create 3D content, too. And did we mention you don't need crazy 3D glasses here?
There's a dedicated "3D" button where you might normally find a camera button that takes you to a special menu (in 3D, of course). From there you have quick access to 3D games and apps, a 3D guide, YouTube 3D (you can upload your own 3D videos right to it), a 3D gallery and the 3D camera. Think of it as a three-dimensional quick launcher.
Oh, but there's more. It'll record the 3D video in 720p -- and will do 2D video in 1080p. Yowzers. And it can play back video via the HDMI port, or over DLNA.
Those are the broad strokes, people. But our early impressions are that even if you think 3D is a passing fad, the Optimus 3D is a solid smartphone, in any dimension. We've got more pics and video after the break.
In a time when phones seem to only be getting bigger, it's fun to see something like Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini and Mini Pro. When we first saw these phones a year or so at Mobile World Congress, they were pretty much a novelty, tiny little things. But they grew in popularity, and just last week SE announced a refresh.
The new Mini and Mini Pro now sport 3-inch touchscreens at 320x480 resolutions, up from the 2.5-inch, 320x240 screens of old. The Mini Pro's gotten a keyboard refresh, too, and we're just fine with that.
Check out our full hands on with video and a slew of pics after the break.
Why mess with a good thing, right? Verizon struck smartphone gold a year ago with the Droid Incredible, a version of the European HTC Desire tweaked for the U.S. market. And so not a whole lot has changed with the follow-up, the Droid Incredible 2.
It actually was an interesting turn of events -- a U.S.-only phone (and one with Verizon's exclusive "Droid" branding at that) -- took its name and design back overseas and was unveiled at Mobile World Congress as the Incredible S. Needless to say, it was a welcome sight for those looking for something a little different from HTC. (Even if it is still a black slab.)
So what's new in the Incredible 2? And is it enough to warrant a purchase? Or does last year's model still have what it takes? Let's find out, after the break.
A familiar phone gets faster, thanks to Verizon's LTE network
It isn't very often that a smartphone has the the staying power to remain a best-seller for an entire year, and it's even more rare to see that smartphone still have a major buzz factor when it hits another carrier some 12 months after it was initially announced. That phone, of course, is the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. And it's been revamped and revitalized as the HTC ThunderBolt -- the first 4G LTE smartphone on Verizon.
Let's just get this out of the way -- yes, the ThunderBolt is nearly a dead ringer for the Sprint EVO 4G, another HTC device. And that's a good thing. The EVO 4G was the first Wimax device, and the first Android smartphone with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, and we'd still have little problem recommending it to someone today. So it was of little surprise that the ThunderBolt caused such a commotion leading up to its announcement at CES in January 2011, and that frustration over the nearly three months it took until release crescendoed to a level never before seen.
But, indeed, the ThunderBolt ushers in a new era -- the LTE era -- and that means a whole new experience. So join us after the break as we break down the ThunderBolt and its place atop of the smartphone mountain.
If there ever was a phone you shouldn't buy without doing your homework, the Kyocera Echo is it. It brings something new and different, but that doesn't always mean something new, different and good. There's a lot of general disdain out there for the poor Echo, and it's understandable, because without trying it out it's hard to visualize just how it will fit -- or not fit -- into your lifestyle.
The fine folks at Sprint sent us one to use and abuse, so I spent a week or so carrying it around to see exactly what I think of it. Now it's time to put those thoughts into words, in the hopes it helps you see if the Echo just may be the phone you're looking for. Move on past the break and have a read.
If you're looking for an Android phone with a front-QWERTY keyboard and the familiar "chirp-chirp" of Nextel Direct Connect, you've just found it in the Motorola Titanium. It's got a 3.1-inch touchscreen, Android 2.1 and is military-spec'd for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature. In other words, it'll survive a week at a smartphone trade show.
Other features for the Titanium, which is the follow-up to the Motorola i1, include:
Support for Nextel Direct Connect Services, including Direct Connect, Group Connect®, International Direct Connect®, DirectSendSM, Group Messaging and NextMail®
Android Market for access to more than 150,000 applications, widgets and games available for download
Google mobile services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps with Navigation, syncing with Google Calendar™ and YouTube
Corporate email (Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP3 & IMAP) email
5-megapixel camera with camcorder, 4x zoom and flash
microSD slot, with a 2GB memory card included, supporting up to 32GB
It's big, it's bright, it's fast — but is it worthy of the Droid name?
How many 4.3-inch 4G LTE smartphones does Verizon need? How many you got? Because with the launch of the Samsung Droid Charge, Big Red now has a pair of large, fast Android 2.2 smartphones.
The Droid Charge finds itself coming into existence at a weird time. It was announced at CES in early January 2011. And now, four months later, finally is coming to market. And in that time we've seen Samsung unleash the likes of the Galaxy S II which is, in a word -- sexy.
So we've got a few reservations. A few worries. One is in Verizon's LTE network and its ramifications on hardware. While it's blazing fast, it'll drain a battery faster than a blogger drains a beer. And another is in Samsung's perceived inability to update the software on its phones in a timely fashion. Whether or not that's true, well, that's another matter.
So join us after the break as we dive into the Samsung Droid Charge.
You might think it's a strange time to be considering an HTC Desire HD for your next phone. The Sensation, HTC’s next big thing, is looming on the horizon. And newer, shinier phones from a variety of manufacturers may tempt you away from a device that’s been on the market (in Europe, at least) since the back end of 2010. But despite this, the Desire HD still offers a compelling feature set and specifications that compare favorably to many newer Android smartphones.
We’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting to know the Three UK-branded version of the Desire HD, which is available for free on contracts starting at £30 per month. Join us after the jump to find out more about the device in our snack-size mini-review.
The Samsung Gem is Samsung's latest foray into the hugely popular and lucrative entry-level Android smartphone market. This is where Android is going to grab what's left of the market share, and any company that builds a solid performer but still keeps prices in check is going to do well. The Gem is that solid performer. Checking in at $29.99 (with the standard two-year agreement), or free through U.S. Cellular's Belief Project if you qualify, it really makes buying a feature or messaging phone seem like a poor decision.
Of course it doesn't offer up the level of performance that you would see from some of the high-end Android phones out there, but it's not designed to. You'll see what I mean, after the break.
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